Huell Howser, the man famous for loving California on his popular show "California's Gold," has died, according to public television station sources. He was 67 and died of natural causes in early January at his Palm Springs home.
The native Tennessean, who had been a feature reporter for television stations in Nashville and New York City before moving to Los Angeles, won a big audience in California Agriculture and in the state water community with his public television shows taking viewers on the road with him to explore little-known attractions across the state.
The public TV host celebrated the odd and the oddly wonderful on his many shows, which also included "Videolog, "Road Trip," and "California's Green." The folksy host could get excited over an artichoke festival, gleefully explore the "upside-down house," and watch in amazement at an avocado-eating dog
Howser produced "California's Gold," "California's Water" and other human-interest programs.
"We are saddened at the loss of Huell Howser, a true California treasure. Huell was able to tell the story of California water like no one else. He was able to make it real and relatable, and he did that with every topic he tackled," says Jennifer Persike, deputy executive director for operations and external affairs for the statewide Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA),
"He was California's best story teller and made it look so easy, even with a subject as complicated as water. With every story, he added to his tremendous following. People felt they had made a friend once they met him. His unique talents and commitment to public television were unparalleled. He will be greatly missed."
Howser produced and hosted ACWA's popular "California's Water" series, a first-of-its-kind public television series launched in 2006. A total of 26 segments of California's Water" have aired on public television outlets throughout California, covering a variety of topics ranging from climate change to water recycling to the value of tap water.
The most recent segment in the series, "Water: The Best Deal Around," made its debut in March 2012 and continues to air on various PBS affiliates.
ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 440 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. More is at www.acwa.com